I am driving on the busy Dwight D. Eisenhower Highway over to see the Hagerstown Suns Municipal Stadium. If you never have heard of Hagerstown, Maryland it’s not surprising. The best spots in the country are usually secrets.
So where the hell is Hagerstown, Maryland you ask? I guess I could best describe it as being somewhat close to Camp David–the comfortable getaway spot for U.S. Presidents which is located somewhere in the Catoctin Mountain Park of Maryland, not too far from relaxing Hagerstown.
It seems safe here. A good place to escape the hustle, bustle, and the dreaded heat of Washington, DC. It seems the perfect place to have Bryce Harper ravage the local neighborhood with baseballs for a short time before moving up the ladder of the Washington Nationals Baseball Club.
On the outskirts of Hagerstown, the current state of the country seems to be reflected. Watching sparkling new construction of a PNC Bank and not far way, a new Centra Bank seems strange when each new bank building is surrounded by several buildings with faded ‘FOR SALE OR LEASE’ signs hanging crookedly in dingy, broken windows.
But as we head for the heart of Hagerstown, just past the Hub City Tattoo shop and Barefoot Bernies lies a hip town loaded with small businesses. It’s like taking a step back in time.
As I forge my way over toward the rumored ballpark where Bryce Harper will begin his baseball career, it hits me. Hagerstown looks a little rough on the edges, it doesn’t quite fit into the mold of the other Maryland towns surrounding the nation’s capital.
If you would try to drive slowly searching for a ballpark in those towns, it’s even money you will get flipped off by a soccer Mom in a 7-series BMW. Here in Hagerstown, it’s pretty simple. As I quickly turn off my GPS, I yell out the window that I am looking for the ballpark. The trendy looking chick gives me simple directions. And a smile.
Sure it’s a little rough around the edges, what small city isn’t these days, but deep in its’ heart everything is just fine in Hagerstown. Yeh, it’s comfortable here. Bryce Harper will love it too, maybe it will become Harpertown for a few weeks? I don’t think anyone would mind. Even if the kid does hit a few dozen balls in the yards surrounding the ball park.
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Municpal Stadium opened in 1930. It currently has seats for 4,600 people. But some new construction will remove 400 seats to increase the fan experience, provide more leg room, and for the first time seats behind homeplate will have seat backs. Hell, you better get your seats early, we told you this place was comfortable.